Substitute, Part 1
Salvation Bible Basics
In 2 Corinthians 5:21 the Bible says, ‘For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.’ God the Father made Jesus to become sin. He took your sin and my sin and placed it on Christ. Jesus Christ never had any sin of His own. Yet He took our sin, so that you and I, who are sinners, could take His righteousness. In other words, Jesus Christ traded places with you. Suppose you have a million dollars in the bank and I have a negative balance in my account. You decide to help me out, so we trade bank accounts. We go down to the bank, sign all the right papers, and I take over your bank account and you take over mine. Now I can go out and spend all I want, and you have to go out and work all you can to pay back the bill.
That is exactly what happened when Jesus Christ died on the cross. He took our negative account, our need to pay for our sin, and He gave us His positive account of righteousness. We just traded places. He died on the cross to pay for our sin. He became our Substitute.
Look again in Galatians 3:13. ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.’ The word redeemed means to buy back. It was a word used when you went into the slave market to buy a slave off the auction block. You would buy him back, in order to set him free. Remember we said the law curses us. It points out our sin and shows us our condemnation. Because we have broken the law, we deserve Hell itself. But Christ came to buy us back off that auction block of sin, and He bought us back to set us free.
Why did Jesus die on the cross? Because He was fulfilling Scripture. That was where God’s curse was. He was being cursed for your sins and mine. He didn’t sin. He never had a sin. He was dying in our place. He was taking our place so we could be free from the curse.